Skip to content

Browse the Finding Aid

Series A. Southern Politics
Discussions with political leaders, journalists, editors, party officials, political scientists, campaign directors, union officials, civil rights leaders, and congress people from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Series B. Individual Biographies
Biographical interviews intended to address the contemporary dearth of personal letters and diaries written by notable citizens. Interviews with educators, business leaders, political activists, professional workers, authors, and artists, as well as with homemakers, tobacco workers, and domestic servants, are included.

Series C. Notable North Carolinians
Part of an on-going project to interview men and women in North Carolina who have made significant contributions to business, the arts, education, and politics.

Series D. Rural Electrification
Interviews conducted by the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives throughout the state about the difference electricity has made in the daily lives of rural people.

Series E. Labor
Interviews focused on the growth and development of organized labor in the southeast from 1940 to the present.

Series F. Fellowship of Southern Churchmen
Interviews with members of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen (FSC) were mostly conducted from 1983 to 1985. The FSC was originally called the Younger Churchmen of the South, and first met in May 1934 at Monteagle, Tennessee. As an interracial and interdenominational Christian organization, it worked closely with such groups as the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith for the improvement of social conditions in the rural South.

Series G. Southern Women
Interviews in this series deal with the experience of southern women in the critical period between the women’s suffrage movement of the 1920s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. The individuals interviewed were active participants in many reform movements during this period. The interviews particularly explore the interaction between the women’s private lives and their public activities.¬†Many of the women interviewed were born between 1890 and 1910. Thus, they matured politically during the 1930s, the era of the Great Depression, labor organization, and New Deal reform. They are from various social classes and are of different races. Many of the women can be grouped into three categories: women involved in labor and workers’ education movements either as students or as teachers; black and white women active in the civil rights movement; and women who, in addition to their contributions to these reform movements, also pursued professional careers.

Series H. Piedmont Industrialization
A project that focuses on the impact of industrialization in seven main areas: Badin, Burlington, Bynum, Catawba County, Charlotte, and Durham, N.C., and Greenville, S.C. There are also other interviews with workers from such communities as Carrboro, Greensboro, Gastonia, and Marion, N.C., tapes relating to Farmville, N.C., and interviews relating to the textile workers’ strike in Elizabethton, Tenn., in 1929. Topics include the development of various industries in these regions, especially textiles, tobacco, hosiery, and furniture and the experiences of workers in these industries, both in their work and in daily life, including health, recreation, religion, family, education, and financial hardships.

Series I. Business History
North Carolina Business History Project interviews are with leaders of traditional and emergent North Carolina industries, such as furniture, banking, tobacco products, textiles, poultry, food and food services, tourism, pharmaceuticals, computers, and steel. Interviewees describe the origins and evolution of their companies as well as the changes and problems they confront.

Series J. Legal Professions
Interviews conducted by students of the University of North Carolina School of Law with prominent lawyers and judges in North Carolina. Most of the interviews deal with the interviewees’ families and personal lives as well as with their legal careers and thoughts about the law and the legal profession. Many interviews discuss childhood experiences, memories of World War II or the Vietnam War, college and law school experiences at UNC and elsewhere, memorable cases, and views on legal ethics.

Series K. Southern Communities
interviews conducted in the course of community studies by students and faculty exploring questions of central concern to the humanities: What is the meaning of community? What role does historical memory play in helping people cope with loss, create new identities and communities, and become agents rather than victims of change?

Series L. University of North Carolina
Interviews about the University of North Carolina, originally developed as part of the University’s bicentennial celebration in 1993, but currently an ongoing project. Some interviews focus on specific aspects of university life; others document the birth and growth of particular schools, institutes, or programs within the university, including the Campus Y, the School of Medicine, the Dept. of Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures, the School of Nursing, the School of Public Health, and the Institute of Government. Others record more general information about the institution, including women’s athletics, student activism, civil rights, student life, and women faculty and administrators.

Series M. Black High School Principals
Interviews primarily concerned with evaluating the influence of societal change on the perceptions that black principals have of their work roles, focusing on the degree of administrative control, site assignment, and job responsibilities. Specific questions address the influence of desegregation on role perceptions. Respondents were categorized in two groups: African Americans who held the post of principal in 1964; and African Americans who were serving their communities as principals of North Carolina high schools at the time of the project.

Series N. Undergraduate Internship Program
Beginning in fall 2012, the Southern Oral History Program has conducted an undergraduate internship program for students to gain experiential education in the intellectual, organizational, and practical work of oral history. Each semester, the interns engage in research by conducting an oral history project, usually related to student activism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Topics include the Speaker Ban controversy in the 1960s and LGBTQ issues and activism.

Series O. Foundation History
Interviews conducted as part of a project on race, poverty, and the North Carolina Fund (NCF). The NCF, established in 1963, was a forerunner of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. It not only established and supported community action agencies that still operate today, but it operated manpower development programs, conducted important research on poverty, trained community organizers, and sent racially integrated teams of student volunteers into rural communities to help local people fight poverty and racism.

Series Q. African American Life and Culture
Interviews by James Eddie McCoy regarding African American life in Granville County, N.C. Since 1981, McCoy of Oxford, N.C., has conducted interviews with elderly black citizens from all walks of life in Granville County, N.C. Nearly all of the interviewees are more than 80 years old; some are over 100. These interviews bring to life the tobacco fields of Antioch, the cotton plantations of Oak Hill, the church services at Black Cat, and the hustle and bustle of black neighborhoods like Grab-All in Oxford. They tell what daily life was like in the black orphanage at Oxford, at Mary Potter School, and in lumber camps and cotton fields.

Series R. Special Research Projects
A wide-ranging series of interviews by many different interviews on a variety of topics.

Series S. Center for Creative Leadership
Interviews with staff of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), an organization that started in Greensboro, N.C., devoted to the study, practice, and development of leadership. CCL has developed widely-recognized executive education programs and has branches in Colorado Springs, Colo., San Diego, Calif., and Brussels, Belgium, as well as in Greensboro.

Series U. The Long Civil Rights Movement: The South Since the 1960s
This project collects interviews with men and women who in the years following the sit-ins and protests of the 1960s fought to keep the doors of equal opportunity open and to extend the civil rights struggle into new arenas. The interviews for this project document activism in a wide range of communities across the South. Intensive field work sites include: Charlotte, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Louisville, Ky.

Series V. The Hayti Spectrum: Documenting Negro Life of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s in Durham, N.C.
The Hayti Spectrum oral history project, conducted by interviewer Brenda L. Williams, explores life in the Hayti Community of Durham, N.C., from the 1920s to the 1960s. Also included are 37 folders of introductory materials compiled by the interviewer. These materials include newspaper clippings, church and funeral programs, photographs, and items related to some of the interviewees in the collection.